Computed tomographic arthrography of the stifle for detection of cranial and caudal cruciate ligament and meniscal tears in dogs.

Samii VF, Dyce J, Pozzi A, Drost WT, Mattoon JS, Green EM, Kowaleski MP, Lehman AM.
Vet Radiol Ultrasound
2009 Mar-Apr

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility of single-detector computed tomographic arthrography (CT arthrography) for the diagnosis of cranial and caudal cruciate ligament and meniscal lesions in the dog stifle. Four normal and 25 abnormal stifle joints, determined to have lesions related to intra-articular ligamentous insufficiency based on clinical history, orthopedic examination, and survey orthogonal radiographs, were imaged using a previously developed CT arthrography protocol. Surgery was performed immediately following the CT procedure. Three board-certified radiologists inexperienced at interpreting CT stifle arthrograms reviewed all CT studies independently, and then as a group, without knowledge of surgical or necropsy findings. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for determination of cranial and caudal cruciate and meniscal tears were calculated for each individual reviewer and based on group consensus. All reviewers identified the normal canine stifle joints imaged correctly. Reviewers did well in discriminating normal from torn cranial cruciate ligaments, with sensitivities of 96-100% and specificities of 75-100%. No reviewer correctly identified the solitary caudal cruciate ligament tear and specificity ranged from 89.3% to 100%. Reviewers were less adept at discriminating normal from torn meniscal fibrocartilage, with sensitivities of 13.3-73.3% and specificities of 57.1-100%. Interpretive accuracy improved slightly when consensus scores were compared with surgical findings. Single-detector CT arthrography may be useful for identifying pathology of the canine cruciate ligaments but is of limited value for assessing the menisci.

Small animal: